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    #795 - Ryan Holiday - 11 Harsh Stoic Truths To Improve Your Life

    enJune 10, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Focusing on doingWait until completing a project before sharing it with others to avoid distractions and put all energy into the task at hand. Focus on what's in our control and run our own race for true success.

      Key takeaway from this conversation with Ryan Holiday is the importance of focusing on doing the thing rather than talking about it. According to Ryan, there's a temptation to share our plans and projects with others before completing them, but this can make the thing feel real before it actually is. Instead, he suggests waiting until the project is finished before sharing it with the world. This not only helps us avoid the distraction of premature validation but also allows us to put all our energy into the task at hand. Additionally, Ryan emphasizes the importance of focusing on what's in our control and running our own race, rather than competing with others or seeking external validation. By doing so, we can become the best version of ourselves and achieve true success.

    • Defining successClarity in setting personal goals and resilience in the face of criticism can lead to unexpected achievements, even when others doubt or dismiss them.

      Defining success on your own terms and staying true to your interests can lead to unexpected and profound achievements, even when others may doubt or dismiss them. The speaker shares his personal experiences as a runner and a writer, emphasizing the importance of clarity in setting personal goals and resilience in the face of criticism and doubt. He also warns against the danger of overconfidence and the importance of acknowledging the role of chance and hard work in achieving success. Ultimately, the key is to approach life's decisions with openness, self-awareness, and humility, rather than certainty or entitlement.

    • Perspective BalanceMaintain a balanced perspective by recognizing accomplishments and areas for improvement, embracing challenges, and focusing on growth and improvement

      Maintaining a balanced perspective is crucial for confidence and growth. The speaker emphasizes the importance of recognizing both accomplishments and areas for improvement. Confidence should not be based solely on self-belief, but rather on evidence of what has been achieved. Additionally, pushing beyond comfort zones and embracing challenges can lead to valuable learning experiences and increased self-assurance. The speaker shares personal experiences of both success and failure, highlighting the importance of resilience and the ability to learn from setbacks. Overall, the key takeaway is to strive for a balanced perspective, focusing on growth and improvement while acknowledging accomplishments, and embracing challenges as opportunities for learning.

    • Overcoming adversityExperiencing setbacks and difficulties can lead to growth and appreciation for those experiences in the future. Mental resilience and emotional stability are crucial for handling stress and maintaining a positive attitude, leading to opportunities and trust from others. The mind often minimizes regret, convincing us that difficult experiences were for the best.

      Experiencing setbacks and difficulties, while challenging at the time, can ultimately lead to growth and appreciation for those experiences in the future. This idea is exemplified by the story of Ernest Hemingway, who lost all of his writing in a tragic event but went on to reinvent his style and find success. Another key takeaway is the importance of mental resilience and emotional stability, particularly for those starting out in their careers. The ability to handle stress and maintain a positive attitude can lead to opportunities and trust from others. Additionally, the discussion touched on the idea that the mind has a way of minimizing regret and convincing us that difficult experiences were for the best. Overall, the conversation emphasized the importance of perspective and the belief that one can overcome adversity and come out stronger on the other side.

    • Sudden successStaying authentic, grounded, and focused on hard work can protect against negative effects of sudden fame, while prioritizing audience desires over authenticity can lead to 'audience capture'.

      Success in today's world can come unexpectedly and rapidly due to algorithms and social media, but it also comes with unique challenges. The speaker emphasizes the importance of staying grounded, working hard, and maintaining authenticity, even when faced with sudden fame or recognition. He suggests that those who become successful through mastering a craft have an inherent protection against the potential negative effects of fame. The speaker also warns against the dangers of audience capture, where artists or creators may feel compelled to cater to their audience's desires rather than their own authentic beliefs or creative impulses. Ultimately, the key takeaway is to prioritize authenticity, hard work, and staying true to oneself, even in the face of sudden success.

    • Personal definition of successSuccess is about personal fulfillment and well-being, not just external achievements or societal pressures. Hidden metrics like relationships and wellness matter as much as visible success markers.

      Success is not just about external achievements or observable metrics, but also about the impact on our personal lives and relationships. It's essential to have a clear understanding of what success means to us individually and not get swayed by societal pressures or comparisons. The hidden metrics, such as time spent with loved ones or quality of sleep, are just as important as visible success markers. It's crucial to avoid letting the desire for external validation or admiration drive us to the point of neglecting our well-being and relationships. Instead, we should use our motivations wisely, using them as activation energy to get started but eventually transcending them to maintain a healthy balance in our lives.

    • Expectations vs RealitySuccess and satisfaction are subjective, and achieving a goal may not bring the fulfillment we expect. Instead, it's essential to find new motivations, understandings, or set different goals that positively impact ourselves and others. Struggle and difficulty are natural, but learning from others' experiences can help us avoid repeating patterns.

      The pursuit of success and satisfaction can be a never-ending journey, and it's important to recognize that achieving a goal may not bring the fulfillment we expect. Instead, it's essential to find new motivations and understandings, or to set different goals that have a positive impact on ourselves and others. It's also crucial to acknowledge that struggle and difficulty are a natural part of the process and to make the best of any situation. Ultimately, it's not hopeless to learn from others' experiences and avoid repeating the same patterns, but it may require self-awareness and introspection that can be challenging to achieve.

    • Productivity DebtConstantly striving for control and productivity can lead to tension, stress, and a fragile sense of balance, ultimately negatively impacting well-being. Instead, aim for a balance between productivity and happiness, recognizing that success should bring feelings of fulfillment rather than a need to prove oneself.

      Constantly striving for control and expecting things to be a certain way can lead to a cycle of tension and stress, resulting in a net negative impact on well-being. This compulsive behavior, often referred to as productivity debt, can create a fragile sense of balance that requires everything to go right to avoid feeling unhappy. It's essential to recognize when routines or habits conflict with other important aspects of life and strive for a balance between productivity and happiness. Realizing that the reward for success should not just be doing nothing but also alleviating feelings of emptiness or the need to prove oneself is crucial. Ultimately, it's important to approach success from a place of enoughness rather than a compulsive cycle. Engaging in practices like inner child work can help foster compassion and understanding for past experiences and contribute to personal growth.

    • Impact of having children on personal growthHaving children can offer a new perspective on personal growth, revealing the impact of past choices and the importance of making ethical decisions for future generations.

      Having children can serve as a powerful therapeutic tool for personal growth and understanding the past. This unique perspective provides insight into the generational impact of choices and the importance of making conscious decisions to break negative patterns. Justice, as the North Star virtue, guides us in making ethical choices and striving for positive impact in our personal lives and the world. The other virtues, including temperance (discipline), courage, and wisdom, support this pursuit of justice. By focusing on justice, we can unlock the potential for good character and positive contributions to society.

    • Doing the right thingIgnoring societal expectations and having the courage and competence to act on good intentions is essential to making a positive difference.

      Doing the right thing involves both knowing what it is and having the competence and courage to act on it. Florence Nightingale's story illustrates this, as she ignored societal expectations to pursue her calling to help the less fortunate, even when it meant defying her parents and challenging conventions. Her determination led to significant improvements in healthcare, demonstrating the importance of not just having good intentions but also the ability to make a real impact. Similarly, figures like Gandhi showed political genius in using nonviolent means to challenge colonialism and inspire change on a larger scale. In both cases, the combination of wisdom, courage, and competence was essential to making a positive difference.

    • Salt March, Gandhi'sGandhi's Salt March was a peaceful protest against unjust British tax on salt, highlighting immorality of colonialism and inspiring nonviolent resistance through forgiveness and treating the meek with grace.

      Gandhi's Salt March was a powerful political and moral protest against the British colonial exploitation of India. By peacefully challenging the unjust tax on salt, Gandhi highlighted the immorality of colonialism and made it politically and socially untenable. Furthermore, Gandhi's understanding of Christianity and its values, particularly forgiveness and treating the meek with grace, influenced his nonviolent resistance strategy. In a world filled with corruption and exploitation, Gandhi's approach challenges the notion of why we should play by the rules when others don't. The reasons for honesty, decency, and kindness extend beyond moral or religious beliefs; they also make for a more sustainable and successful life. Ultimately, living with the consequences of our decisions and being true to ourselves is essential for personal growth and avoiding catastrophic failure. Marcus Aurelius, a renowned Roman emperor, provides an example of maintaining transparency between public actions and private intentions to avoid the temptation of not keeping one's word.

    • Leadership InfluencesMarcus Aurelius was influenced by Hadrian's negative power traits and Antoninus Pius's ideal leadership qualities, shaping his decisions and pushing him towards virtuous leadership. Emulating great leaders' virtues and maintaining consistency in beliefs can help personal growth and ethical living.

      The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was influenced by two significant leaders in his life: Hadrian, who represented the negative aspects of power, and Antoninus Pius, who embodied ideal leadership qualities. This internal struggle shaped Marcus's decisions and goals, pushing him to strive for virtuous leadership. The concept of having a standard or ideal to live up to in life, as Marcus did with Antoninus, is essential for making difficult decisions and staying true to one's values. Additionally, the idea of transparency and accountability, as illustrated in the story of Marcus Cato, is crucial for personal growth and ethical living. Emulating the virtues of great leaders and maintaining consistency in our beliefs can help us become the best version of ourselves.

    • Instinct vs Self-reflectionLeadership and decision making require a balance between instinct and self-reflection. Instincts can guide us, but it's important to question them and consider the bigger picture.

      Being a good leader or making the right decisions involves a balance between instinct and self-reflection. Instincts can guide us towards doing what's right, but it's important to also question those instincts and consider the bigger picture. This was exemplified in the story of Truman, who made unpopular but consequential decisions despite facing skepticism and criticism. Another example is the poet Danielle DiPrima, who chose to keep her commitment to her babysitter over the temptation to stay at a party. These decisions, though difficult, demonstrate the importance of considering the common good and acting out of principle rather than expediency. This fundamental aspect of justice starts with individual decisions and can have far-reaching impacts. Even our earliest days, humans have an inherent sense of fairness and morality, but it's shaped by our experiences and societal influences. Ultimately, it's essential to trust our instincts while also being mindful of the potential biases and temptations that can lead us astray.

    • Stoicism and political geniusStoicism, a philosophy of self-mastery, can help individuals navigate life's challenges and make a positive impact on the world by responding non-violently to adversity, leaving the aggressor feeling sickened and losing in public opinion.

      The power to change the world comes not only from being right or morally correct, but also from mastering the self and understanding how to respond non-violently to adversity. This discipline and spiritual purity, as demonstrated by civil rights protesters and the suffragettes, can be politically genius as it often leaves the aggressor feeling sickened and losing in public opinion. Stoicism, a philosophy of self-mastery, can help individuals navigate life's challenges and make a positive impact on the world beyond their own self-improvement. It's important to remember that stoicism is not about becoming a better sociopath, but rather about engaging with the world, taking responsibility, and using self-mastery to help others.

    • Stoicism and EthicsStoicism can guide ethical decisions but shouldn't be used to justify harm to others, consider motivations behind decisions, and minimize potential shame through setting up a virtuous life.

      Making ethical decisions in life and in business is not always straightforward. While Stoicism can provide guidance on ignoring external criticisms and focusing on personal virtues, it should not be used as a shield for doing harm to others. The speaker emphasized the importance of understanding the motivations behind difficult decisions and trying to set up one's life in a way that minimizes potential shame. The Spartan king story serves as a reminder to consider how one's actions would look to an impartial observer. Ryan Holiday's work, including his books and online platforms, offers wisdom for living a virtuous life and can serve as a helpful resource for those seeking to improve themselves.

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    #786 - Steve Stewart-Williams - Why Are Differences Between Men & Women Being Denied?

    #786 - Steve Stewart-Williams - Why Are Differences Between Men & Women Being Denied?
    Steve Stewart-Williams is an evolutionary psychologist, a professor and an author. If you follow the thread of evolution long enough, you see that humans are simply a product of adaptations. So why are humans so peculiar? Does everything we do have a rational explanation, or are there aspects of our lives and psychology we have yet to understand? Expect to learn how aliens would view our species if they were observing from above, what most people get wrong about understanding sex differences, Steve’s best explanation for the gender equality paradox, why humans have such strange sexual desires, why men tend to insult their intimate partners, how to deal with the discomfort of learning evolutionary psychology, my spicy new theory on dysgenic gene erosion and much more... Sponsors: See discounts for all the products I use and recommend: https://chriswillx.com/deals  Get up to 32% discount on the best supplements from Momentous at https://livemomentous.com/modernwisdom (automatically applied at checkout) Get a 20% discount & free shipping on your Lawnmower 5.0 at https://manscaped.com/modernwisdom (use code MODERNWISDOM) Get an exclusive discount from Surfshark VPN at https://surfshark.deals/MODERNWISDOM (use code MODERNWISDOM) Extra Stuff: Get my free reading list of 100 books to read before you die: https://chriswillx.com/books Try my productivity energy drink Neutonic: https://neutonic.com/modernwisdom Episodes You Might Enjoy: #577 - David Goggins - This Is How To Master Your Life: http://tinyurl.com/43hv6y59 #712 - Dr Jordan Peterson - How To Destroy Your Negative Beliefs: http://tinyurl.com/2rtz7avf #700 - Dr Andrew Huberman - The Secret Tools To Hack Your Brain: http://tinyurl.com/3ccn5vkp - Get In Touch: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chriswillx Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chriswillx YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/modernwisdompodcast Email: https://chriswillx.com/contact - Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Modern Wisdom
    enMay 20, 2024